Conner Staton loves playing against rival West Carter.
Especially when the Raiders win by a mercy rule.
East Carter’s senior pitcher dominated on the mound and smacked his first high school home run, a three-run shot over the left-field fence as the Raiders defeated the Comets, 13-3, on Thursday in Grayson.
Staton sprinted to first after what sounded like he hit the cover off the ball before finding out that he hit a round-tripper.
“I knew I hit it well but I didn’t know if it was going to be over,” Staton said. “I got to first and saw the left fielder just standing at the fence. It was awesome.”
He pitched all five innings, giving up just two hits, three runs, four walks and striking out five Comets. Assistant coach Ben Fritz stepped in the manager's box for head coach Jeremiah Shearer, who was sick. Fritz said he was proud of Staton and the rest of the club for getting a big district win.
“He wasn’t as sharp as he has been but he came out and did the job on the mound,” Fritz said. “Then he comes out and hits a big home run … it was a good performance for him as a senior.”
East Carter pounded out 11 hits. Chandler Adams and Cody McDavid each had three hits with McDavid pushing two runners home and Adams driving in one. Zack Cathey had four RBIs. Cole Boggs also pushed across a run.
“We swung the bats really well,” Fritz said. “We were able to get runners on and we were able to bunt and steal that can create havoc for the opposing infield.”
West Carter (1-3) committed five errors of which the Raiders (3-2) took advantage. Three Comets' mistakes in the bottom of the third led to East Carter increasing its lead to 8-1. The Comets cut the lead to five in the fifth on a throwing error and a fielder’s choice but didn't get any closer.
“They definitely played a part,” Comets skipper Brian Brown said. “Anytime you make errors, you’re just giving away (opportunities) …that is something we definitely have to cut down.”
Peyton Brown had the only two hits for West Carter. Tanner Tackett had two RBIs for the Comets in the loss.
WEST 001 02 — 3 2 5
EAST 125 05 — 13 11 3
Phillips, Napier (3), Hanshaw (5) and Walker; Staton and Cathey. W—Staton. L—Phillips. 2B—Adams (E) 2, Boggs (E). HR—Staton (E).